Warning: Contains Spoilers
The showrunners behind Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, recently said they’d be in an undisclosed location, far away from the internet and very drunk at the time the final episode airs.
However, they might be tempted to come back to the fray once they see the viewing figures for the series’ finale, The Iron Throne.
Despite all the petitions and the rankings, millions of us tuned in to watch the remaining few characters try to hide a water bottle, gush over Robin Arryn’s glow up, and decide who should be ruler of the seven (now six) kingdoms.
19.3 million to be exact. The highest viewing figures out of all the episodes of this year’s season, and the highest single-episode of any HBO show – a record previously held by the season 4 opener of The Sopranos 17 years ago.
According to Deadline, The Iron Throne beat the previous episode, The Bells – a record breaker at the time – with a 4.9 per cent increase in viewership. It also smashes the season seven finale out the park, with an increase of 14.2 per cent.
These figures, of course, only represent those who tuned in as the episode went out – I’m sure the final numbers of all those who recorded it to watch later, or waited to see it on catch up, will add even more to the tally.
It should also be added that Game of Thrones is on a premium cable channel, or a paid-for subscription service, for most people, so would have its work cut out if it was to compete with networks that are free to view. However, it did beat the figures for the series finale of The Big Bang Theory, which was aired on a broadcast network, rather than cable.
Including streaming services and other ways to watch the show, HBO has suggested the latest season of Game of Thrones averaged 44.2 million viewers per episode, which is up around 10 million from the average for season seven in 2017.
Speaking about bringing the epic show to a close, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff told Rolling Stone:
It’s hard to encapsulate 10 years of our lives spent with so many of the best people we know, doing something we were all proud to be a part of. We’ll probably be dealing with the end of the show long after the show is actually over.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.